Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Local fire safety laws to be removed in building regulation reform

Local Acts, which include fire safety provisions, are to be scrapped in new proposed government reforms.
The announcement follows the coalition's publication of changes to Building Regulations in England. Currently, fire safety standards for new buildings are set through these regulations but these laws differ depending on the region.

There are around 23 local Acts which have one or more provisions relating to fire protection, providing discretionary power to local authorities who wish to implement additional checks in buildings such as warehouses, tall buildings and car parks.

According to the coalition, these measures result in unnecessary construction, maintenance and administrative costs for those in the construction industry and do not help improve fire safety.
This has prompted the government to launch a consultation into local Acts as it looks to reduce inconsistencies and unnecessary regulatory burdens relating to fire safety standards.
Among the changes to fire safety regulations include changes to the classification of decorative wall linings and thermoplastic lighting diffusers.

Introducing the consultation to the House of Commons on 31st January, communities minister Andrew Stunell claimed the proposals will help cut the regulatory cost for businesses.

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